Sowing the Seeds, and Reaping Rewards!

We're joined again by SFG Hobby Guru Michael Archer. You may have seen Michael's last article where he walked us through painting the Mason's & Brewer's Terrain Pack, and if you cast your mind back to August 2017 then you will also remember his article on building the Mason display board we had at GenCon 50.

Today, I would like to show you some simple terrain tutorials to expand your Farmers Guild terrain collection, so you can field a table of themed terrain. 


Materials List:

  • 1mm thick plastic card
  • Wood filler paste
  • Super glue and super thin super glue
  • Bass wood
  • Chip paint brushes
  • Sand and/or coarse pumice gel
  • Scissors
  • Hobby Knife
  • Putka (miniature dried seeds that look like pumpkins)
  • Green or Brown Stuff
  • 26 gauge wire
  • Hobby clippers

Pumpkin Patch Rough Ground

First up will be a pumpkin patch rough ground piece. Last year I was shopping and stumbled upon these miniature dried gourds call Putka that are used for holiday decoration. I instantly saw them as the perfect size for miniatures. You can find them online as well. 

Pumpkin Patch.jpg

Step 1: Use 1mm thick plastic card to cut out a base for your rough ground and bevel the edge by scrapping the edge with a hobby knife. Glue a few small pumpkins down, odd numbers are easier on the eyes. Then use sand or pumice gel to create a ground texture. I like the pumice gel because it is flexible.

Step 2: Mix some green or brown stuff and roll out some thin strands to make vines with. Once they are rolled out give them a couple twists to add some texture. Lay a long strand down first then use a hobby knife or sculpting tool to gently press them in place. You can use a small amount of chap stick to coat tools so they don’t stick to the putty. Then make some small vines branching off the longer vines.

Step 3: You could stop with just the vines if you like or chose to add some simple leafs to make them look a little more interesting. Take a small ball of putty, and pull a few pieces off so that one end is nice and thin. Gently pull a small flat piece off. These will make nice durable leaves. Carefully apply them one at a time with a hobby knife or sculpting tool.

Step 4: While you are applying the leaves, you can gently fold some of their edges over or reshape them to look more leaf like. Use the back edge of your hobby knife to make a central crease in the leaves, this will add to the look but also help press the putty into the ground and make them adhere better.

Farm Themed Obstacles

It’s always good to have some Obstacles, they are quick to make and easy to theme around your Guild. For this I again use the putka for miniature pumpkins to make a pile of pumpkins and some bass wood to make a rickety farm fence. 


Step 1: Cut some bases from 1mm thick plastic card making some nice organic shapes. Then bevel the edges by scrapping them with a hobby knife.

Step 2: Use some square bass wood strips to make the fence. Score the edges carefully with a hobby knife to make them look worn. Then make two end pieces. Make sure they have good points of contact where the pieces of wood cross.

Step 3 and 4: Once dry cut some smaller square strips of bass wood and weather edges. Glue a beam across the top to join the two pieces, then glue some pieces at slight wonky angles on the front and a cross beam on the back.

Step 5: Make a nice little pile of pumpkins, choosing some larger ones for the base and smaller ones for the top. Glue them to their base. Then use some two part putty or wood filler putty to build up some ground around the base and on the other base for the fence. Apply some glue to the bottoms of the fence posts then press them into the putty. Add a pumpkin or two to the fence base to tie it in with the other pieces.

Harvested Crop Forest Terrain

For a forest I made a simple little crop of straw or wheat that has been harvested. This is probably the trickiest piece to make for this set but fits the theme well and is cheap to make.


Step 1: Grab a few medium sized chip brushes from your local hardware store. Use some clippers to unbend the metal band holding the bristles of the brush to the handle. Be careful some chip brushes use small nails, these will fall out so just keep an eye out for where they land. With the brush removed from the holder use a hobby knife and clippers to remove the bristles from the small piece of wood they are glued to. This can be a messy process so doing it on a tray or a covered workspace is recommended.

Step 2: take a few bunches of bristles still glued at one end and carefully wrap some 26 gauge wire around them. Use a pointer finger to hold the bristles, and your other hand to wrap the wire around. Once partially wrapped hold the wire in place with your thumb, so you are able to tighten the wire.  Twist the wire so that it is tight around the middle.

Step 3: Carefully cut the glued bristle ends with scissors. Take it slow and try to get a nice even cut for the bottom. Once cut they will be some what fragile so be careful not knock to many bristles out of the wire or it will become loose.

Step 4: give the bristles a slight twist, then make sure they are lined up the way you want them. Hold the wire so that you are not touching the straw. Very carefully apply some super thin super glue. This stuff can be a nightmare to work with so treat it with respect, but it can achieve some amazing gluing feats. The capillary action of the thin super glue will suck right into the wire and brush bristles fusing them together. Also apply a drop to the center bottom and the center top.

After you have made 7 or 8 individual bundles of straw, you can then move on to make the crop base. For this again use some plastic card like in the previous pieces. 


Step 1: Mix 1-part wood filler putty with 1-part coarse pumice gel or sand to make a thick earth paste. Then apply it to the base in nice thick layer with a craft stick. Use a clean craft stick to score lines in the paste about ½” apart. Then use a craft stick dipped in water to smooth and round the edges of the lines you just made and to clean up any mistakes or thin spots.

Step 2: While the putty is still wet use some of the excess brush bristles to make little stumps of cut straw. Space them kind of randomly making sure they are not too tall. If some end up to too tall don’t worry you can cut them down once the paste dries. Also push a few over like they have been trampled so that there places where you can place the bundles of straw and have them sit flat on the base.

Step 3: Using the bundles of straw that you made its now time to form them in larger groups so that they can stand on their own. Hold 3 or 4 bundles together, then carefully apply a few drops of super thin super glue to the bottom where the bundles meet. Then doe the same for the tops. Be careful to hold them in away that doesn’t glue your fingers to them.

Step 4: Make two of these to go on your base, then make sure they sit nice and flat. Cut any excess strands off, clean up the bottoms and apply any extra glue where needed.

Finishing Details and Painting

With these four pieces basically done you can go in and add some finishing details to your liking. for instance I used the 3 chickens from the mascots base to place on some of the pieces to give them more character. (Insert Photo: WIPgroupshot.jpg)

With the details finished you can now paint them all to match your other Farmers Guild pieces and team. I choose to paint the straw and pumpkins even though they were already good natural colors. I do this to create a more coherent visual when they are displayed with the other painted pieces and miniatures. For the static grass I put down a layer of fine medium green flock then glue the static grass on top of it. This layered look adds more depth. I also use some dead grass tufts to add to the Fall harvest look. 

Hopefully you have enjoyed this tutorial and at least learned about some new materials you can use for future projects. Making small terrain pieces like these can be super fun little projects that don’t take to long but still add a lot to your over all play experience.


Painting the Masons and Brewers Terrain Pack

Group Shot1.jpg

With the terrain pack being released, I'd like to share this painting tutorial to help you all get your terrain sets painted up and on the pitch. I'll try to go into enough detail of the techniques I use for those of you who are new to terrain painting or model painting in general.

I use Army Painter paints to get the job done along with a few different brushes. Army Painter makes some nice starter brushes that work great for terrain painting. If you don’t have access to those specifically, the brushes you can find at your local hobby or craft store will work well too. You mostly want something with good spring to the bristles. Just avoid cheap water color brushes.


Oak Brown, Dragon Red, Mummy Robes, Skeleton Bone, Leather Brown, Fur Brown, Dark Stone, Ultramarine Blue, Desert Yellow, Electric Blue, Uniform Grey, Greenskin, Gun Metal, Plate Mail Metal, Strong Tone Wash, and Soft Tone Wash.

Other tools:
Decent small brush, medium sized dry brush, small dry brush, black primer, white primer, glue PVA or wood glue, static grass, and gloss medium.

I will give an overview of how to paint a few of the pieces in this set in a timely fashion that will still have them looking great on your pitch. The techniques demonstrated can be applied to the other pieces that come in this set.

Prime and Base Wash:

Step 1: Prime the set with black primer and then highlight it with zenithal white spray paint. I use Duplicolor White Enamel because it goes on nice and light with minimal speckling. When zenith priming, hold the can at a 45-degree angle from the piece and do wide slow passes over it. You're not looking to fully cover the piece, only to hit the raised portion of the piece, simulating light hitting the piece. This will give you a good starting base for shadows and highlights and it works well for painting stone textures.  


Step 2: Spot wash the pieces with Stong Tone Wash to reinforce the deep shadows and add some earthy tones to the surfaces of the stone and wood. 


From here we can go in and start working on the details of each piece.

Announcer's Tower Barrier:

Step 1: Give the earth a wet coat of Oak Brown, allowing the paint to remain somewhat transparent to let the zenithal undercoat show through. Then give the brick a heavy dry brush of Dragon Red. I used a medium sized flat drybrush for this. After you dry brush the red, give all the other details a light dry brush with Mummy Robes. This will make all those details pop. 


Step 2: With the base coat established we can now start on some of the detail-work. Using the Army Painter Regiment brush, paint in the mortar of the bricks with Skeleton Bone. Paint the wood with Leather Brown, again, letting some of the Zenith show through. Dry Brush the soil and the edges of the wood with Desert Yellow. 


Step 3: Paint the Guild Ball Logo with a 1:1 mix of Ultramarine Blue and Dark Stone. Then paint the metal banding and other metal details with Gun Metal. Pick out a few random bricks and paint them with Dark Stone to add some variety. With the details blocked in give the Bricks a final dry brush of 1:1 Dragon Red and Desert Yellow. Finally, highlight the edges of the stone with Mummy Robes. Using the edge of your brush, run it along the raised upper edges of the grey stone and wood.


Forest Tree with Flags:

Step 1: Paint the Earth with Oak Brown then Dry brush the tree and details with Mummy robes using a medium dry brush to speed up the process. 


Step 2: Paint the Exposed tree with Uniform Grey. Apply wet but don’t let the paint pool to much in the cracks. Control the amount of paint on your brush by having a paper towel on hand to make sure the paint brush is not over loaded with paint. Paint the bark and wood debris with Leather Brown. Paint the Flags with Ultramarine Blue. 


Step 3: Bring some color back into the tree with some Soft Tone wash. Don’t wash the whole tree with it. Instead, focus on the places where the flags are tied to the tree and the undersides of branches. Wash the debris with Soft Tone as well. Paint the bottle with Greenskin. Once the wash has dried, dry brush the ground and details with Desert Yellow.


Step 4: Edge Highlight the flags with Electric Blue. Give the tree, bark, and wood debris a final dry brush highlight with Mummy Robes. With this final highlight only use downward strokes with the brush on the tree branches to create the illusion of light hitting the upper most details of the branches. 


Small Obstacle Barrels and Crates:

Step 1: Having a variety of wood colors can help make these little guys pop on the battlefield. For this piece use Leather Brown, Fur Brown, and Dark Stone for the wood. Then give a light dry brush with Desert Yellow to tie them all together. 


Step 2: Paint the metal bands with Gun Metal, and the bottles with Greenskin. Wash the details with Soft Tone. 


Step 3: Lightly dry brush Skeleton Bone as a highlight for the wood. Make sure to use the direction of your brush stroke to your advantage, turning the piece so that your brush is going crosswise and NOT parallel to the details. Use the edge of your brush to give a more solid edge highlight to edges of the boxes. Edge highlight the metal bands with Plate Mail Metal. 


Applying Static Grass:

Once you have all your pieces painted to this level, take your favorite static grass and using wood glue or PVA glue, apply it in a random pattern. I sprinkle the grass on and then turn the piece upside down and give it a good couple of taps on the bottom to shake the excess off and to help the grass stand up. 

Group Shot2.jpg

Spilled Beer Fast Ground:

It's time to make the spilled beer look wet. Paint the suds with Skelton Bone and then wash them with Soft Tone to smooth out the area. Once dry, use a gloss medium, floor polish, or something like Vallejo's Still Water to make the puddles look wet (You can also paint the glass bottles with it to make them look shiny.) Finally, dry brush the suds with Mummy Robes. If you seal your miniatures, make sure to apply the gloss after you have sealed them.

Fast Ground2.jpg

And with that you should have nicely painted set of terrain to put out on your Guild Ball pitch for your next game. I love nothing more than playing a game on fully painted table with fully painted miniatures, feels great!

If you'd like to replicate Michael's instructions then get the Brewer's Guild & Mason's Guild Terrain Pack.